Foster Your Child’s Inner Chef Without Putting them in Harm’s Way
Guest Writer, Daniel Sherwin from Dad Solo
Most kids, at one time or another, have helped their mom or dad bake cookies. It’s a rite of passage in many households, and for a lot of kids it can be a precursor to a childhood filled with cooking adventures. Parents should encourage their child to bake and cook, especially if they take a liking to it and frequently ask to help out. There are plenty of dishes and sweets that a child can help you make, but granting their cooking wishes also means creating a kid-friendly kitchen (more on that here) and teaching them proper kitchen safety.
Heat is a Great Thing, But Can Also Spell Disaster
Chefs and bakers know that without heat, us omnivores would be living a pretty bland culinary existence. The use of appliances that exert great heat is virtually unavoidable. Taking necessary precautions to shield a child from the danger that heat poses is step number one in grooming a young culinary star.
First, consider your child’s clothing. Kids Health advises that baggy clothing is more prone to catching fire, being singed, or getting caught in the mixer. Avoid loose clothing, and buy a child-sized apron to help prevent burns and stains that may come from unforeseen spills.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics also recommends that children with longer hair tie it back to avoid getting it burned or caught in mixing devices.
In case of emergency, ensure that your ventilation devices are working. For fire safety, check to make sure that smoke detectors have fresh batteries, and instruct your child on how to use the fire extinguisher and turn off all appliances should something unexpected occur.
Safety in the Cooking Process
The BBC’s Good Food sector has some insight for cooking with kids. One vital element of teaching your kids proper cooking methods is proper food hygiene. Explain the importance of washing your hands before preparing food, and how to wash them again after handling raw meat ingredients.
Once you begin cooking, Canadian Living reminds us that no child should be permitted to run in the kitchen. Further, turn the handles of pots and pans away from the counter’s edge so that they’re not accidentally caught on a limb or piece of clothing, resulting in a potentially burn-inducing spill. Removing spare rags and towels can help prevent fires, while ensuring that pot holders are dry will limit the transfer of heat which can result in burns. And all sharp knives should be kept out of a child’s reach.
Consider safe cooking times and temperatures before you or your child test out any food. Food poisoning is a sure way to turn a potential young culinary dynamo off of kitchen-related activities for the foreseeable future. Last but not least, never leave the kitchen unattended when the stove or oven are running.
There are plenty of dishes that children will love to cook, and the act of cooking can serve as a way to bring parents and children closer. Teaching cooking at a young age can foster lifelong healthy dietary habits and give them the right tools and knowledge when it comes to kitchen safety. You never know, you just might spark a passion in your child that serves as a point of joy and nostalgia throughout their life.
Local Edmonton Kids Cooking
A great option, though not a class, but meal prep with Simply Supper is set up for families! Including Aprons & Stools for little ones!
Classes Available at the Following
ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen
City of Edmonton Classes